My Creative Workbook

Christine de Beer - effortless floral craftsman

Sparkle Spool and Velvet Magnolia Table Top Christmas Tree

An empty spool makes a great base for table top trees

One of the times when I prefer to get plastic rather than any other packaging is as spools for wire, ribbon or tape. The are so useful to design with!
One of my favourite go to's... but it works so well: An empty spool makes a great base for table top trees.

Another is to use the spool of florist tape to make wrist corsages. I will link the Tutorial below so that you can have a look. It is the most comfortable corsage bracelet... ever!

Fit a twig into the spool

Fit a sturdy twig into the spool.

The velvety underside of these magnolia leaves is such a great way to bring warmth into your space

The velvety underside of these magnolia leaves is such a great way to bring warmth into your space. Cut the leaves from the branches.

Book readers turn to page 110 of my book to see all the information about preserving plant material. For more information about my book: The Effortless Floral Craftsman

Start at the bottom and glue the leaf to the support twig with hot glue

Start at the bottom and glue the leaf to the support twig with hot glue.

Glue in the next leaf to overlap the first one slightly

Glue in the next leaf to overlap the first one slightly.

Work your way around the support twig and add leaves

Work your way around the support twig and add leaves.

Design note: Use a generous amount of hot glue to position the leaves so that they puff away from the support twig slightly.

Glue in the next row of leaves slightly higher up the support twig

Glue in the next row of leaves slightly higher up the support twig.

Glue in leaves all the way around

Glue in leaves all the way around

Work your way around and around and around the support twig

Work your way around and around and around the support twig...

All the way to the top of the support twig

All the way to the top of the support twig.

Glue in a side twig extending out of the design

Glue in a side twig extending out of the design. I want to hang glass icicles from these... but... it is really helpful; from a design perspective. Have a good look at the tree and glue in the twigs so that it marks the front of the design for you. When you add the lights you need to know which side is the back and having the twigs there already makes it easy to design the base in a way that is easy to operate the switch.

Now for the base:

Bundle up fairy lights around the spool

Bundle up fairy lights around the spool...

Glue in tiny twigs from the top to the bottom

Glue in tiny twigs from the top to the bottom to keep the lights in place.

Glue in twigs all the way around

Glue in twigs all the way around...

Giving special attention to the front with delicate twigs that cover the openings

Giving special attention to the front with delicate twigs that cover the openings.

Design note: I loved the look of the lights. It created this "walk in a winter forest" light. Well worth the effort!

Secure the battery pack at the back so that it is easy to operate

Secure the battery pack at the back so that it is easy to operate.

Paint the twigs with wood glue

Paint the twigs with wood glue...

And sprinkle with artificial snow

And sprinkle with artificial snow.

Add snow to the base of the tree

Add snow to the base of the tree...

And the Magnolia Christmas tree is ready

And the tree is ready to design with. Actually it looked pretty just like that. But it is Christmas!

Hang a few glass icicles from the twigs in the front of the design

Hang a few glass icicles from the twigs in the front of the design.

Place a few oversized dew drop crystals.

Place a few oversized dew drop crystals...

See the Tutorial below for more detailed instructions of how to place the crystals without disturbing delicate or brittle plant material.

To the tips of the Magnolia leaves

To the tips of the Magnolia leaves.

Add in Kalanchoe flower buds and tiny green berries

Add in Kalanchoe flower buds and tiny green berries to barely peek out from behind the dramatic leaves.

Add in a few of the star shaped berry sepals

Add in a few of the star shaped berry sepals...

And a few scattered twigs to connect the base and the tree part

And a few scattered twigs to create a unit between the base and the tree part.

And finish the design with a few more glass icicles on the opposite side

And finish the design with a few more glass icicles (this time glued in instead of dangling) on the opposite side of the Magnolia tree design.

Every week I add a new design with related tutorials. Be sure to subscribe to receive an email notification with design inspiration.

Tutorials

19 December 2018 Sparkling Eucalyptus Tabletop Christmas tree

Craft an ethereal Christmas tree from Eucalyptus leaves, twigs and sparkling snow flake crystals.

18 December 2019 Here it is: the quickest, easiest Christmas wreath… ever!

My work is usually so labour intensive... this one came as a wonderful surprise... it really is both quick and easy to craft this wreath!

16 December 2015 Ivy vine Christmas tree mobile

Twist ivy vines around a cardboard shape to create a lace fine Christmas tree mobile.

16 December 2015 Kalanchoe Christmas Bauble

The delicate Kalanchoe flowers last surprisingly well without a water source and is ideal for glue techniques

11 December 2019 Swirly Twirly Silver Dollar Eucalyptus baubles

Inspired by seedpods... Glue Silver Dollar Eucalyptus leaves into 3 dimensional Christmas decorations.

16 November 2022 Magnolia Rose Bowl with the brightest Holly berries and Kalanchoe flowers

Long lasting berries, magnolia leaves and succulent (kalanchoe) flowers that can remain without any water or maintenance for... well... all the way to Christmas!

6 December 2017 Barely there twig tabletop Christmas tree

Glue curved twig snippets to craft a delicate winter white Christmas tree

15 December 2021 Half and Half Copper and Twig Christmas tree

Cut a tree from copper and twigs for a long lasting tabletop Christmas decoration.

4 December 2019 Eucalyptus collar for a snow-covered Christmas candle

Not only will your home smell wonderful while crafting this design you will also have a ethereal and long lasting design to enjoy.

28 December 2016 Adding snow to twigs

Glue artificial snow to twigs

13 December 2017 Long lasting bark and Kalanchoe sleigh

Kalanchoe flowers last weeks without a water source and is the perfect way to dress up a bark and silver bell sleigh

Favourite Flowers

Kalanchoe

Christmas Kalanchoe, Kalanchöe or Kalanchoë

Related Designs

14 December 2022 Joyf'ly

Table top Christmas tree with a fairy light twig trunk.

21 December 2022 Let it

A happy December Solstice or the Winter Solstice lantern.

18 December 2019 A Happy, Merry, Jolly (easy as that!) Eucalyptus Christmas wreath

Now this is quite a discovery! And it honestly is the easiest and quickest way to go from "I still want to decorate for Christmas" to "... aaand I am done, I made our wreath"

19 December 2018 Oh Florist-tree

Craft an Eucalyptus Christmas tree

23 December 2020 Have yourself a Merry Cellulose Fibre Christmas: wired snowball pom pom for a woven grass Christmas tree

...ok not really that fancy- it’s made from paper pulp. Some cardboard to wrap the string around… really. In the spirit of 2020- I am inspired by the endless stream of cardboard...

16 December 2015 Christmas Waves

Twist a Kalanchoe and Ivy vine Christmas tree mobile

11 December 2019 A Very Merry eucalyptus bauble Christmas!

For this year's Christmas tree I wired and glued a wild and wintry twig armature... but... these little eucalyptus baubles are just the cutest!

16 November 2022 All your Christmases…

A little bit of effort... that will last for weeks design to roll us in to the Festive Season.

15 December 2011 Rocking around Three Candle Trees

Wire spirals twisted around candles to make small Christmas trees for the Christmas Eve dinner table

6 December 2017 While I sing of beauty's treasure

Glue the most delicate twig table top Christmas tree

15 December 2021 It’s the most… it’s the most… wonderful Patina Copper Christmas Tree of all!

This is the fourth of my Christmas 2021 series of designs. This year in the form of a mini workshop… my Christmas present to you. Paint copper to add a beautiful patina to a...

4 December 2019 A Very Merry eucalyptus-collar-candle Christmas!

An easy and naturally fragrant winter white candle decoration to bring nature into your house this Christmas.

13 December 2017 Just hear those sleigh bells jingling

Craft a bark sleigh that will last for weeks.

2 December 2015 Stacking the odds in your favour

Cover a wire frame for a winter kissing bough.